Domestic abuser who stabbed partner to death after 12-year relationship jailed for nine years

Darwin 0800

A man who violently assaulted his partner over 12 years, before killing her at her home in 2018 has been sentenced to nine years behind bars.

Key points:

  • Neil Marika was subject to a full non-contact domestic violence order at the time of the death
  • He had previously served around five years in jail for numerous other violent attacks
  • He had served 14 days in jail for breaching a DVO two months prior to the manslaughter of his partner

Neil Marika, 36, had been drinking between 1:30pm and 8:30pm in Palmerston, just outside of Darwin, in October 2018, when he got into a “heated argument” with his partner and stabbed her in the heart with a serrated kitchen knife.

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The 29-year-old victim, who cannot be named for cultural reasons, had been on the receiving end of her partner’s violence throughout their 12-year relationship and had a full non-contact domestic violence order against him at the time of her death.

“It is clear that your relationship with the deceased was marred by repeated violence on your part towards her,” Justice Peter Barr said in sentencing.

The court heard Marika spent at least five years in jail over the course of their relationship, for numerous violent attacks.

In 2006, when the victim was 16 years old, Marika drunkenly threatened, kicked, punched and struck her with an aluminium bin.

The then-teenager underwent emergency life-saving surgery at Gove Hospital for a collapsed lung.

Marika spent four-and-a-half years in prison for the attack.

‘Reckless manslaughter is very serious’

Between 2006 and the fatal attack in 2018, Marika violently assaulted his partner five times.

The 36-year-old pleaded guilty to the October 2018 manslaughter of his partner, with whom he shares a two-year-old son, earlier this week.


Neil Marika, 36, had been drinking prior to the incident in Palmerston. (ABC News: Michael Donnelly)

The court heard two months prior to the fatal attack, Marika had served 14 days in prison for breaching a domestic violence order.

“The death of your former partner would not have happened if you had complied with the terms of the full non-contact domestic violence order … that order had been made for the protection of the deceased,” he said.

The court heard during the argument, the deceased saw an orange steak knife on the bench and said “I’ll kill you with that knife,” but Marika armed himself with the knife.

Sentenced to nine years

Marika admitted to stabbing his partner three times after a struggle, during which he’d “grabbed the deceased by the hair”.

“Your response was extraordinarily violent, it was disproportionate to any conduct on the part of the deceased,” Justice Barr said.


Justice Peter Barr sentenced Marika to nine years in jail, with a non-parole period of six years. (Supplied: NT Courts and Tribunals)

“It speaks of a great deal of anger on your part, which was no doubt alcohol-fuelled to a large extent,” he told the court.

Marika was awarded a three-year discount on his sentence for his guilty plea, indicating “remorse and [a] wish to facilitate the course of justice”.

“You have deprived your little boy of the care and guidance of his mother,” Justice Barr said.

“Reckless manslaughter is very serious and not far short of intentionally causing death.”

He was sentenced to nine years in jail, with a non-parole period of six years.